The Power of Digital Print: Start Easier and Save Big

print + technology Mar 21, 2024

Photo: Mitchell Press

Ah, the life of a graphic designer—always daydreaming about seeing our masterpieces on store shelves or plastered across city walls. But, let's face it, for the longest time, printing was like that exclusive club where only the 'big guys' could get past the velvet rope.

Enter Digital Printing, stage right. It's like the cool, tech-savvy cousin that's created an amazing playground designers get to play in. 

Remember the early days of print? When printing anything short run was somehow $1,000 just to start the conversation? A handful of posters or labels meant selling a kidney or two.

Everything required individual plates for each color and a pile of setup which is where the high cost came from. It wasn’t cheap!

But the barrier to entry for print has been lowering for years making it much more cost effective for designers to start dabbling with it.

Digital printing has swaggered into the room, eliminating those costly plates and setups. Now printing five posters costs about the same as a family dinner at Applebees (including the regrettable wine choice). 

You want to print 5 beverage labels? Well, you can make it happen for like $60 bucks!

I see you looking closer… let's go a bit deeper here. 

HP kinda kicked it off and went swinging for the fences with the Indigo. These presses print sheets and labels on roll with beautiful color and quality. You'll basically want to frame everything you print on an Indigo press.

Landa isn't playing games either. They're printing sheets as big as 28” x 40” with such high definition that it looks real, not a printed image.

Photo: Scodix

And for those who want a bit of zest with their printing? I’m talking foil stamping, raised ink, holographic effects, embossing, glitter...Scodix has got your back producing brilliant digital embellishments.

What's that? You want to print directly onto cans? No problem, Hart Printing has got you covered with digital printing directly on cans. Yup.

Photo: Hart Print

We have Xerox and Konika Minolta also heavily involved in this digital print game with their own incredible equipment. 

You see, digital print lets you test the waters without diving headfirst into the deep end of print. Want to try a new design? Go for it. Caught a typo? No biggie. It's like playing a video game with unlimited lives.

It gives you the power to experiment with print, build a physical portfolio, and make mistakes in a way that isn’t financially devastating. And you'll make mistakes—oh, you'll make plenty—but instead of those mistakes costing you an arm and a leg, they'll feel more like a shrug-it-off moment.

I'm not saying you'll replace your Netflix subscription with printing design experiments, but I wouldn't be surprised if you start making some BFFs with local print shops in your area. 

So, designers, get out there. Start creating. Print something small, something big, something weird. The world is your canvas, and digital printing is your paintbrush. And who knows? You might just see your work on a store shelf or out in the wild someday soon!

Grab your designs and jump in; the water's just fine.